Chambley ES History

Opened: 1956
Closed: 1966

Chambley Elementary School was located at Chambley Air Base at the former Chambley-Bussières airfield in France. The base was located in the Meurthe-et-Moselle region of France, about ten miles west of the French city of Metz, and one mile southwest of Chambley- Bussières.

The base was described as…

“a big, muddy airfield. Airmen were setting up buildings, barracks and the 42-foot trailers where families resided …”

“All of the airman assigned to Chambley had a number of extra duties. In addition to living and working quarters, Airman built a five-classroom school and theater for the children. The pilots taught school to the elementary children until the Department of Defense teachers arrived.”

Joyce Watkins, who was 24 in 1954, was a new bride and one of the first DoD teachers at Chambley. Her husband, Tech. Sgt. William Watkins, was part of the wing that moved from George AFB to France. Mrs. Watkins stated, “It was a wonderful experience, but it was hard. We went through a lot of hardships.”

For the 1958-59 school year, there were seven grades in one classroom. The school was closed in 1966 when the American forces left France.


Information from military websites

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